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How to Keep Your Personal Information Safe Online

Privacy has increasingly become a rare commodity in these times. It has become unavoidable to buy products online without handing out personal information. Unfortunately, this information isn’t entirely safe since it can easily go in the hands of cybercriminals. Discovering that the company you trusted for your data has been compromised can be alarming but unfortunately many big names including, Linkedin, Uber, Bank of America and Home Depot have faced data breaches in the last few years.

If you have ever purchased any product online, submitted taxes or filled out a job application revealing your details, you risk having your private information leaked. As per the statistics, over 16 million US residents fell victim to identity theft in the year 2012, alone. With more and more information related to our identities going online, protecting our data on the Internet has become increasingly more important than ever for identity theft protection.

Secure your data for identity theft protection online through 6 Excellent Tips

Here are some of the ways to ensure that you continue to reap the benefits of digital platforms while ensuring identity theft protection to a greater extent:

1. Chose your Passwords wisely

Aside from the fact that you should be changing your passwords on a regular basis for identity theft protection, it is also important that you set complex passwords for each account that you own. A strong password must contain a combination of words, numbers, upper- and lowercase letters, and special characters making it incredibly tough for others to be able to guess or crack. Choose a unique password for every account you have rather than the same one. Never choose common password sources such as birthdays, anniversaries, and pet names and if you are facing difficulty in setting up tough passwords, you can opt for a password generator.

However, if you struggle to remember each password that you have, you can use an efficient password manager such as Passpack.

2. Use a VPN to protect your information

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) presents a highly secure way of protecting privacy in the digital age. It acts as a tunnel between your device and the Internet. It’s a fact that your ISP keeps tabs on you regarding your online habits,  but you can hide your internet activity from your ISP by using a reliable VPN service and ensure the best identity theft protection.

3. Protect your data online by staying away from the non-secure sites

Another great way to ensure identity theft protection is, whenever you input information of a sensitive nature – social security number, phone numbers, addresses or credit card information, on a website or when visiting a site to purchase items online, always ensure that the URL contains, “https://”, rather than simply “Http://”, because this indicates that the site is not encrypted and you could be in danger.

4. Beware of suspicious emails

Phishing is one of the most commonly employed methods to access an individual’s personal information. This involves fraudsters and other malicious elements sending emails whereby they pretend to be someone they are not and thus, can steal your sensitive information via injecting malware, Ransomware, etc. If you suspect that an email is fishy, simply delete it and mark it as Spam.

5. Set Up Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

As an added security measure for identity theft protection, you can set up the two-factor authentication on all the accounts you have been using. As a result, every time someone tries to log in to your account from an unrecognized device, you get a notification instantly.

6. Protect your privacy online by not giving too much information

Make it a rule of thumb, never to go beyond a certain extent when sharing information with sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google. For instance, if they ask about where you live, you can simply reveal your country rather than the hometown where you live. The less you share, the less you risk losing in an event of a digital catastrophe.

7. Start using Online Cloud Storage

A lot of the times, people fell victim to the hackers and identity thieves, simply because one of their external storage devices – USBs or external hard disk drives get in the wrong hands. But, you can avoid this situation completely by shifting to online storage offered by either, Google Drive or OneDrive – both of whom are excellent services for online storage, available at economical prices. You can sync and upload your entire computer on the cloud and access it on the go, whenever you want, rather than relying on hard storage and trying to keep that safe.

Although, the downside is that if you lose your credentials or someone cracks your cloud storage password, all your personal data risks getting compromised. But, the cloud storage option is still, better than keeping your data on drives, from a security point of view.

Final Advice

At the end of the day, avoiding a data breach or large scale cyber attack is not entirely in your hands, but it is up to you to take adequate measures on how to secure your data online and ensure identity theft protection.  You can depend on these online security tips to protect your data so that you don’t have much to lose in case of a disastrous event.

Tags : cybersecuritydata privacyHow to Keep Your Personal Information Safe Onlinepersonal information